Monday, August 19, 2013

A Closer Look at OverDrive Media Console version 3.0

OverDrive Media Console has an ever growing history with mobile platforms. We first released a mobile version of OMC on the Windows Mobile platform in September of 2009, followed soon after by the Android version in December of ’09, and then the BlackBerry version in February ‘10 and finally on iOS devices in April ’10.
Since then, we have included Windows Phone and Windows 8 in the OMC app family and worked hard to improve the apps; from adding the ability to read eBooks, to trying to unify the visual experience between devices, to simple bug fixes.  Many changes have swept through the mobile device platforms since then and we’ve kept up with the pace of technological growth, bringing you the latest and greatest version of OMC.
My fellow OverDrive blogger, Adam Sockel, gave you a great overview of what to expect with the newest release, and we have a couple live training sessions scheduled as well. To help get you excited for this new release, I’m here to give you a closer look, and point out the ways in which OMC v3.0 will simplify support for your users. I want to start by highlighting the newest features in the app.
When you first open OMC v3.0, you will see the familiar splash screen give way to a new start screen for first-time users prompting them to add a library or add some books to their bookshelf, complete with visuals to point users in the right direction. Once you have your libraries and/or books added, more tutorial screens will walk you through the new interface, showing up when you go to your bookshelf or open an eBook. Each tutorial screen shows up once, but is available again using the option in Settings to show tutorials next time the app is started.
Aside from the tutorials, we simplified getting around in the app. The Home Menu is your one stop for navigating the improved OMC v3.0. From there, you can go to the My Libraries list, the Bookshelf, Settings, History, OverDrive One and more. In addition to the ease in navigation, the Home menu also provides a better in-app help experience, offering detailed solutions to common questions and issues within OMC.
History is a list of titles that have been deleted from the app upon expiration, or returned to the library. This feature should be a big hit with avid readers, allowing them to keep track of the titles they have read – options range from the last 10 deleted titles to the last 100 deleted titles – so they run less of a risk of listening to/reading the same books over again, unless they want a repeat performance of a book.
When reading the books, we have added another menu, called the Book menu, which allows for simpler navigation within the book, providing access to the table of contents, book details, and editable bookmarks.
Back on the Home menu, the biggest new feature, OverDrive One, allows users to sync their titles, bookmarks, and furthest point read between devices using OMC v3.0. The editable bookmarks I mentioned above are the very same ones that will sync between devices using Overdrive One.

So, you can stop reading on your Android phone, pick up your iPad to continue, and you’re back in the same place – much like when using OverDrive Read in your browser. For your users who use more than one device to read OverDrive eBooks, OverDrive One should be a welcome addition to the app. This feature is in beta, and we are relying on user feedback to help us add features and improve the Overdrive One experience.  So come on and get excited for August 20th and the new OverDrive Media Console v3.0.

 ~ Justin Noszek is a Support Specialist with OverDrive

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